By Thornton Crowe
In his lifetime, David Bowie cultivated many friends that became his extended family – both musically and personally. He inspired musicians all over the world with his persistence and audacious approach to life and music in ways very few have achieved before or since. He often played a pinnacle part in defining people's life soundtracks. His history in music began in 1962 and spanned the decades all the way up to his death with the current release of, Blackstar, ironically released on his 69th birthday on January 8, 2016. He fought liver cancer for the last eighteen months but continued to live his passion with his music to the very end!
Becoming recognized in the Seventies, his artistic reputation first began with his flare to create characters with his stage personas, the Thin White Duke to an alien, Ziggy Stardust. In the Eighties, he moved into a new era, reinventing himself in unison with changing times with Let’s Dance and Blue Jean. His crisp look and stark white hair won a new generation of fans with the advent of MTV and music videos. In the Nineties and beyond, David adopted an organic persona more true to his real personality and created music with many contemporaries whose coupling, while seemingly unlikely, worked to generate more hits. Hence, he never shied away from trying new genres, people and experiences.
Producing twenty-seven records, nine live albums and participating in many compilations, David worked (and inspired) with many talented artists like Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails. He crashed through barriers that customarily pigeonhole artists and put his own touch into everything he did while embracing the technological age.
Most forget this but he was also a very talented actor, acting in movies like Absolute Beginners andLabyrinth. Additionally, he made his Broadway debut in The Elephant Man, a part that garnered him many accolades for his acting abilities.
Whether you’re a fan or not, his innovation made changes seldom duplicated and his spirit lends to us a real ‘hero’ and mentor. Above all, in spite of his life in the entertainment eye, he was notorious for being a true gentleman in every sense of the word.
Both the man and his colossal talent will be missed as he left us way too soon. Rest In Peace.